After shut downs and price cuts, the new 2016 Chevy Volt is charging up to go on sale this fall and with it comes a huge bump in electric driving range. It’ll head down the road for 53 miles on just battery power alone, based on EPA testing, a nearly 40-percent improvement from the first-generation.
“We listened to our customers. They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range, and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both,” says Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer.
The new Volt accomplishes its greater range with a new 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery rated at a combined 106 MPGe, which is the gasoline equivalent. It’s coupled with a 12-percent more efficient dual motor system. This system uses a first motor alone for low speeds, a combination of the first and a second motor with running at less than full power for cruising speeds, and both motors at full power for more responsive acceleration. There is also a third motor that serves to lubricate and cool the components.
With the new electric mileage range, Chevy estimates that drivers will complete 90-percent of trips on electric power alone, which is up from the 80-percent of current Volt drivers. The Volt’s range is even further improved with a gas-powered generator that is designed to seamlessly kick in when the battery runs low. It ups the cruising range to a combined 420 miles with both a fully charged battery and a full tank of gas.
Chevrolet also estimates that drivers will be able to go up to 1,000 miles between fill ups with regular charging. However, even when they do have to fill up they’ll be saving money with a new 1.5-liter engine that no longer runs on premium, but instead uses regular gasoline.
Not only does the new power system help with cruising range, but also the complete redesign sheds 100 pounds which can’t hurt either. The design features a new front and rear as well as a new interior layout that offers five seats instead of the outgoing model’s four.
The new Volt also features the boon of a lower sticker price set at $33,995, nearly $1,200 less than the outgoing model. Some drivers will potentially be able to get a starting price as low as $26,495 after federal incentives.
The last edition of the Volt got a halt in production early this year due to slow sales and the need to make factory updates for the new model.
The 2016 Volt is in production now and will be arriving in dealerships early this fall.